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NOISE, lots and lots of noise. It is most certainly par for the course when you live in a large family.
So where is all the noise coming from?
Negative sources of noise in our large family
Let us start with the negative sources of noise in our large family over the years.
When there were loads of little ones there was lots of crying and temper tantrum screeches. If you are at the stage of babies and toddlers, you would be familiar with this type of noise even if you have only 2 children. Baby would be crying either because she is hungry/sleepy/grumpy. Then toddler gets frustrated and starts yelling.
All that frustration often leads to shouting. By yours truly. Yeah. I am not proud of this. But I did shout a lot in the early days. First, in order to be heard. But many times, out of frustration and sheer exhaustion.
I did not like it. But it was what it was. I did realise however that it is largely MY fault. That is why I wrote back in 2008, I Need to Stop Shouting.
There is hope though. As they grew up, there was less shouting.
By the grace of God, our children have not resorted to physical violence against each other. Not even our boys.
What they do do is argue and quarrel with each other – especially the girls. But, more glaring, sarcasm and giving of cold treatment rather than outright yelling at each other.
And so far, no one has slammed any doors – yet.
Positive sources of noise in our large family
Now comes the fun and positive sources of noise.
No matter what games they play, the noise level is always LOUD. Especially when the oldest is around.
This is self-explanatory.
But I must state upfront that I am grateful for the gift of music. And even more grateful that the Lord has blessed a few of them with musical talent.
However, with that comes … NOISE. It may be nice good noise. But it is still NOISE.
And when the children get to a certain age, they prefer music of a certain genre and then the noise level increases exponentially.
The children talk LOUDLY all the time. You often hear this in our house,
“Stop shouting! We are not deaf!”
Usually said in a loud voice! Lol! Even at the dinner table, they are shouting across the table or worse, to the person next to them!
Excitable people = LOUD people.
Living in a large NOISY family
In a small HDB flat, there is really no place to hide from the noise. How do I deal with it?
1. Tune it out
Here’s a funny
Another mom of a large noisy family shared on Facebook some time back that she “watches” a movie on her computer while working because it is easier to tune out one source of noise (the movie) then her brood of children. I thought that was hilarious because I often “listen” to podcasts or “watch” YouTube videos to do the same thing!
Other moms have suggested investing in a good pair of noise cancelling earbuds. Haven’t tried that as I don’t need total silence, just a reduction of the noise level.
2. Start early or end late
The other way to ensure that I get peace and quiet is to start the day before anyone is up or stay up. This was NOT for the early days when I was waking up multiple times in the night. But this is what I can do now.
3. Institute a Quiet Time (not the devotional type!)
I will write more about this in next week’s Family post. Look out for it!
I used to make use of naptimes until they all dropped their naps. Then I instituted a Quiet Time. It wasn’t totally quiet of course but it was definitely quieter than daily life!
Enjoy the noise
Most days I don’t mind the noise and actually love it. It shows that the children enjoy each other’s company and have loads to share with each other. I can’t imagine everyone sitting around cold shouldering each other.
But some days, my nerves are shot and I really need some peace and quiet. Especially when I need to blog and can’t hear myself think. Usually, reminding them to lower their voices leads to compliance. Until they forget….
So, there you go, noise is just part and parcel of living in a large family.